Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cut Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face

The Susan G. Komen organization recently decided it would no longer provide funding for breast cancer screenings and breast health education at Planned Parenthood. Here in Eastern Washington, a number of people are expressing their opinions on this decision which was made at the national level. Many are upset. As of this writing the national organization's blog is unavailable but their Facebook page is taking a beating.

So how did this happen? The organization has been taking a lot of heat since it began providing funding to Planned Parenthood back in 2005. The reason is that since Planned Parenthood provides abortions--in some states it's the only provider--the pro-life zealots associate Planned Parenthood with abortion even though overall abortion services consist of three percent of the services it provides. Regardless, the taint of abortion is unacceptable to some.

Enter the new vice president of the Susan G. Komen organization, Karen Handel. While running for governor of Georgia she posted this on her campaign web site.

First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a “Healthy Babies Initiative.” The grant was authorized, regulated, administered and distributed through the State of Georgia. Because of the criteria, regulations and parameters of the grant, Planned Parenthood was the only eligible vendor approved to meet the state criteria. Additionally, none of the services in any way involved abortions or abortion-related services. In fact, state and federal law prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions or abortion related services and I strongly support those laws. Since grants like these are from the state I’ll eliminate them as your next Governor.

Even though she admits these grants did not go towards providing abortions, she would cut it off anyway just because Planned Parenthood provides abortion. Back in September, Rep Cliff Stearns, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations within the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, opened an investigation of Planned Parenthood (PDF). Stearns also headed up the Solyndra investigation. There's plenty of information about Solyndra on the Oversight and Investigations site, but nothing about the Planned Parenthood investigation. Regardless, the Komen organization created a new rule that it would not provide funding for any organization under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. So there we are.

Abortion is unacceptable for a lot of people. Consequently, they want nothing to do with any organization associated with abortion and work to shut them down. They can do that if they choose. But let's take this approach and apply it elsewhere. We can look at something else that's unacceptable and inarguably could never be justified by anyone--religious leaders preying on children. This is not unique to a particular faith and you can find a news article about it in the United States almost every day. If you find that reprehensible, why don't you work to shut churches down? If a fraction of pastors, monks, or priests molest young girls or boys, surely that's enough to warrant shutting down all churches, isn't it?

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